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Home » Latest News » World Sepsis Day 2019 – Global Action to Reduce Sepsis Deaths by 20%

World Sepsis Day 2019 – Global Action to Reduce Sepsis Deaths by 20%

World Sepsis Day 2019 – Global Action to Reduce Sepsis Deaths by 20%

“We hope to see the eradication of deaths caused by Sepsis in our lifetime; we have lost too many people to this infection already”.

Sepsis is a condition that at least 30 million people worldwide suffer from every year, in the UK it is estimated that 50,000 people a year will die due to sepsis.

Archaically referred to as ‘blood poisoning’, sepsis is the life-threatening condition that occurs when the body’s response to an infection injures its tissues and organs. Sepsis is particularly dangerous due to high levels of misdiagnosis leading to a delayed reaction to the emergency. Sepsis, if not treated immediately, can lead to multiple organ failure and death.

You hear of people still passing away from common infections and small injuries – often this is because sepsis has developed and been overlooked among other symptoms.

In the UK the NHS has trialled and hopes to roll out, digital alert technology to monitor hospital patients with sepsis – they report that the system has already saved hundreds of lives.


In Cambridge, Liverpool and Berkshire hospitals where the technology is being trialled there has been a significant drop in the number of deaths caused by sepsis, with up to 200 lives thought to have been saved at the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University hospitals NHS trust alone. Most impressively, the technology has seen deaths in the under-45 age category drop from 6/10 down to less than 1/10.

Sepsis prevention is a key part of the NHS Long Term Plan, with developing technology and awareness cited as the best route to curtail sepsis-related deaths. It is thought that now 9/10 patients receive the checks and monitoring necessary to identify sepsis (according to Celia Clark, the medical director for clinical effectiveness at NHS England).

Sadly we do still see many cases where a lack of prompt diagnosis and treatment has led to a fatality and serious illness. The BBC reported on the death of a young girl earlier this month who had been let down by a delay in diagnosis and treatment at Nottingham Queens Medical Centre. The young girl, it was ruled by coroners court, had been inappropriately discharged from A&E.

By learning the signs of sepsis you can prompt medical staff to undertake appropriate testing. People should seek medical help urgently if they suspect they have any of the following symptoms:

• Slurred speech or confusion
• Extreme shivering or muscle pain
• Passing no urine (in a day)
• Severe breathlessness
• It feels like you’re going to die
• Skin mottled or discoloured

This World Sepsis Day Bridge McFarland LLP joins with the Global Sepsis Alliance and the World Health Organisation for everyone to educate themselves about sepsis prevention, diagnosis, and management to help save lives.

The good news, as reported by the World Sepsis Alliance, is that mortality rates for sepsis have decreased by at least 20 per cent through collective action in Australia, the UK, and the US, as well as developing BRIC countries, such as Brazil.

Lorraine Taylor is a Medical Negligence solicitor based in the Hull branch of Bridge McFarland LLP, she represents individuals and the families who have lost loved ones to poor medical treatment at inquests, and in claims for compensation. “We do hope to see a reduction in mortalities caused by sepsis, especially with these new technologies available to help medical professionals to monitor patient’s symptoms”

“The work we do here for people who have received negligent medical treatment is always hard, but knowing that a simple course of treatment and better monitoring equipment would have saved someone’s life is particularly upsetting.”

“We hope to see the eradication of deaths caused by Sepsis in our lifetime; we have lost too many people to this infection already”.

Ian Sprakes is the head of the medical negligence department at Bridge McFarland LLP, he also acts as Assistant Coroner for Hull and the East Riding “we have lost too many lives to sepsis, and the work that the World Sepsis Alliance do to promote awareness of the dangers globally is extremely important to the eradication of sepsis globally. Acting as a coroner is not a duty anyone takes on lightly and having to tell a family that their loved one should have been saved can be particularly distressing.”

The UK Sepsis Trust run a free 24/7 helpline for advice and support, whether you are worried that someone might have sepsis, seeking support after losing a loved one, or coping with life after sepsis, their trained sepsis support nurses are ready to help: https://sepsistrust.org/get-support/ You can also speak with the legal team at Bridge McFarland LLP if you would like some no-obligation advice about the inquest process, or the compensation claims process.